DocRoberts Holistic Health Blog
Christmas is upon us, and I'm going to risk offending a few people by offering a few suggestions on what to get and what not-to-get for children. I know I'm a little late in getting this out, but better late than never!
Before I give my holiday tips, consider the following:
- Kids are fatter than ever. Fifteen percent of 6-19 year olds are clinically obese, triple the rate of 1980.
- Kids' scores in math, language, and science have plummeted in the past three decades.
- As of 2001, 1 in 10 children were reported to have some sort of mental health problem.
- As of 2001 autism was reported to be 20 times commoner in children than it was just a few decades before.
There is a huge body of evidence on causes for these problems--here's the main culprits:
- Sedentary lifestyle--think television, DVD's, video games, "learning gadgets" where you stare at a screen and follow prompts--remember my recent blog showing worse language skills in children watching Baby Einstein videos!
- Lack of physicality--here I don't just mean not being sedentary, I mean practicing tasks that demand attention, coordination, timing, speed, and dexterity. These are fundamental driving impulses for building a healthy brain.
- Environmental pollutants--think mercury from vaccines, food preservatives and food colorings, make-up, trans fats, etc.
All that being said--here are your holiday gift-buying guidelines for kids:
- Don't buy kids things that encourage them to be sedentary--DVD's, video games, and gizmo's with batteries in general. This year my goal was to not buy anything with batteries or a cord. These non-gizmo toys also tend to require more human interaction--a musical instrument that requires a teacher, a bow and arrow that requires supervision etc.
- Encourage activities that demand physical participation and coordination: a basketball, a frisbee, an instrument, a gift certificate to a martial arts class, art supplies, etc.
- Don't buy kids things that make them sick! Candy, junk food, make-up with toxins in it (read more here), shampoos, lotions, or dyes with parabans. Instead, buy them healthy stuff--dark chocolate, homemade cookies with quality ingredients, paraban-free body-products.
Follow these guidelines for a healthy Christmas!